Relationships

The Very First Emails Alex and I Sent to Each Other (We Were Nervous!)

This weekend, Alex and I celebrated our 11th (!) wedding anniversary, so we thought it would be fun to look up our very first emails to each other. We originally met at an Oscars party thrown by mutual friends. When he walked in, my immediate thought was, ‘Who’s the cute guy in the glasses?’ After chatting at the party, I knew I liked him, so a couple days later, I worked up the nerve to ask him out. Here’s how it went…

Here are our first emails, annotated by us today:

Says Alex now: Rereading this, it reminds me how shocked I was to receive this. It was like getting an email out of the blue saying, “Hi, would you like a billion dollars?” I couldn’t believe my luck! I also see how my response seemed a little cooler than I intended. I was over the moon!

Says Joanna now: I’m just so glad I sent that email. We ended up going to the dinner — then dating, then moving in together, then getting engaged, then getting married, then having two kids. So, yes, very glad I sent that email.

P.S. Our first official date the following Friday, and how long do you wait to sleep with someone?

(Photo of us by our friend Porter Hovey.)

  1. Rachel says...

    My husband asked me out over email and now I’m inspired to annotate our first emails. The thrill of opening each one!! Eep! Big congrats on your anniversary xo

  2. THIS IS THE BEST! Thank you for giving us an intimate and sweet peek at your first letters. You guys are adorable and struck just the right balance of excited/cool. A real lesson for some of us overeager email writers :)

    When we were first dating, my husband and I used to write emails all day at work (shh, don’t tell my former boss). Some were long and intense; others were short “hey, this is what my crazy coworker just did!” It was such a sweet way to get to know one another in a low-stakes, but still very personal way. I LOVE having the evidence of our modern epistle romance to look back on.

    Thanks again for sharing your lovely first notes to each other. Gave me all the best feels this morning!

    • Sara Berman says...

      So sweet! My husband and I met as roommates and we put the Craigslist listing and my email inquiring about the room on our wedding website. It was so funny to read how I pitched myself as the perfect roommate for him — I guess I was right!

  3. Jorden says...

    I used to avoid using exclamation marks unless I was being ironic. Was I trying to trick the world into thinking I didn’t care? Thank God I have gown out of that!

  4. Kelly says...

    This is seriously the sweetest. Made me smile and remember how nervous I was texting my now husband when we first met. What sweet memories.

  5. The sweetest thing on the internet, hands down. Thank you for sharing. <3

  6. shopgirl says...

    OMG, what a cool move. I couldn’t do that. I was just never so quickly sure that someone “is the one” to make the first move. And that fear that you would have to reject him if he’s not the one after all, this would actually be the hardest thing for me to do. I am deeply among those who goes with the flow and leave the initiative. Maybe there’s something to do with strong mating instinct that some women just don’t have… I don’t know.
    But hands down, you two are adorable, congrats!

  7. Hannah says...

    Oh, this is so cute! I love little time capsules like this! Makes me want to dig out the first written conversation between my husband and me.

    We’ve just celebrated our first (wedding) anniversary – we’ve been together for 6 1/2 years now, though. <3

  8. This is so cute! Love these annotations from the future :)

  9. Agnès says...

    You’re amazing to share these with us! you should absolutely frame them! My husband and I texted a lot at the beginning of our relationship; a few months after our first date, my husband printed all the texts on a beautiful paper, wrapped them with his shoe-lace from that time (they were special), took me to a nice restaurant and gave me that present. It was such a romantic gift. Love is every thing.

  10. Claire says...

    Tell us about the first dinner!! :D xx

  11. TR says...

    All time favorite post hands down :)

  12. Nina says...

    Happy Anniversary! This is adorable, and by the way, you’re the coolest for making the first move–well played!

  13. Savannah Wilson says...

    My favorite post of all time (and I’ve been here since before Alex so I’ve seen many a wonderful post)!

  14. Sarah says...

    I love this so much! My husband and I met on Tinder and he thought to download all of our conversations before we both deleted the app. At our wedding we shared some of our first texts with all our guests – it felt very special (and nerve wracking) to share our words and feelings, but I’m so glad we did. Our friends still bring up those texts now, years later. Sometimes we’ll read through them together and it’s fun to be transported back to those first days when we were trying to seem cool and appropriately responsive 🙂

  15. denise says...

    this made my day! :)

  16. Abbey says...

    I already commented but I came on here to add something. Inspired by these adorable messages I went digging through my emails, wondering if I had any juicy morsels from previous courtships and OMG…. I haven’t found any great beginnings but I *just* discovered that I am a freaking eloquent master of Break Up Emails/Post-Relationship Emails. Daaaaamn. If you ever do a blog on that, hit me up. I have a gift. Let’s hope I don’t need it much.

  17. Jennie says...

    Favorite post of all dang time.

  18. Abbey says...

    Thank you so much for digging this up and sharing it with us! I love it, and all the notes, and everything that came after. xo

  19. cg says...

    He: cute college transfer art student.
    Meg: trying to play cool and barely notice.
    Mutual classmate, she: sees something that makes her believe we are a good fit.
    Me: finally admits to her that I find him cute and intriguing.
    She: tries to set up every opportunity for us to be together during breaks in class.
    He: always with the cute smile.
    Me: can no longer stand it, leaves anonymous note on his art locker with quotes from songs about smiles.
    She, and other classmates: ditch us at the last minute when we were to see The Addamms Family.
    Me: throwing him a cassette tape(!!) of all the songs in full from the quotes I used in anonymous notes as he left my car after the movie.
    -2 weeks of winter break-
    He, after winter break: you’re the one who left me the notes, smiles that melting smile.
    Been together 27 years, married 22.

  20. emily says...

    omg ALL the heart eyes. This is so sweet and romantic and funny and nice. Go after what you want.
    PS I asked my now husband to prom in hs! I was a senior, he was a sophomore (scandalous!)we went, briefly dated, then split up amicably to avoid long distance when I left for college. Reunited 4 yrs later, married 4 years after that and now we have 2 babies. im still embarassed that I had such a crush on a younger guy! (we’re only 7 months apart).

  21. CS says...

    Oh, thanks for sharing! This was so much fun to read. Happy Anniversary!!! 🎉💐

  22. Kathryn says...

    When I first emailed my now-husband, I had to ask my MOM to look up his email from her STUDENT DIRECTORY. Thankfully he responded quite helpfully to my requests on leading music, and completely and generously ignored the fact that a 15 year old was emailing the cool senior boy she barely knew.

    They told the story at our wedding. Mom laughed until she cried.
    (The whole family danced around in celebration when he emailed back!)

  23. Heather says...

    This is really the cutest! You’ve inspired me to dig up our own first emails.

  24. You two sound way cooler/smoother than my husband and I were around the time we first met.

    Joanna I have always loved your blog but I have SO MUCH respect for you knowing you made the first move on Alex (via EMAIL) – you make it look so casual and easy; mad props to you.

    Also y’all are just really cute. Happy anniversary :)

  25. Aya says...

    Alex saying “It was like getting an email out of the blue saying, “Hi, would like a billion dollars?” made me instantly tear up. You two are so sweet together and it’s lovely how much you appreciate one another.

    • julie says...

      loved the emails but that line?! oof – right in the heart!!

  26. I like the all lower case. I also used to be scared of capitals. What was that? An attempt at e.e.cummings? ;) xo

  27. Rm says...

    Granted, I’ve had a few too many gimlets tonight, but this made my heart swell. Been married 24 years, 4 kids, left nyc in 2002, and a lot of this blog no longer applies, but this is such a heart-warming share. Thank you.

  28. Kristin says...

    This is so sweet. Happy anniversary!

    • Joanna Tsay says...

      I love this! I was just rereading some first emails and it was such a nice trip down memory lane. Hubby and I will be married seven years the end of this year and we were introduced AND long distance, so the emails in the beginning were everything!

  29. Very cute! Love this. x

  30. Robin says...

    This is the sweetest thing! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  31. Michelle says...

    Ah! What a fun post! Thank you for sharing!

  32. Al says...

    Soo sweet!!

    My now-husband wrote his number down on pieces of brown paper bag, and left it for me on 3 different trucks at the beach while I was in the water. He wasn’t sure which truck was mine!

    Luckily one of them was right, and I was the only one who called him!

  33. Stephanie says...

    This is so sweet! xoxo

  34. B says...

    i love this post. thank you for sharing!!

  35. Summer says...

    I love this so much! It’s so fun to reread early relationship emails (showing my age), even from friends. They always seem so proper (but, you know, totally “casual”). Thanks for sharing!

    Also, bravo to Alex for that response time – yaaaaas, boy!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Hahaha yes! Two hours!

    • Rachel says...

      Ha! I noticed the response time, too! Yeah, Alex!

  36. Andrea says...

    This post makes me smile so big. :)

  37. Madeline says...

    Love this.

    My fiancé and I went on our first date two weeks before I went abroad for a summer program and the increasingly long emails we sent to one another (that I typed out on the shared computer in my group housing!) are in equal measure the most treasured and most embarrassing thing on my hard drive. I was so sad when I almost thought I lost them earlier this summer. This makes me want to go back and annotate them together!

  38. Jessica says...

    “hey there”
    Best line of the whole thing.

  39. Lauren says...

    Reading this I’m 99% sure I picked up “hey there” as the perfect online dating greeting from you on the Glamour.com dating column and have used it ever since :)

  40. Ker says...

    This is so cute! Happy anniversary <3

  41. Hilary says...

    Love this! I still have all of the emails my husband and I sent in our early days (and postcards, too!). What a fun idea to take a look and talk about them together.

    I also made the first move with my now-husband. I knew the sparks were there, but we were best friends and both worried about ruining the friendship. So glad I went in for a kiss and the rest is history!

  42. What a wonderful story about love and beginnings! Thank you for sharing and happy, happy anniversary.

  43. Florencia says...

    This is absolutely adorable! Thank you for sharing and happy anniversary!

  44. Julia says...

    this was so cute and made my day. I’m literally crying lol!

    • K says...

      Love this! Congratulations!

  45. Sarah says...

    As someone who is low-key obsessed with your relationship/family life, being privy to your initial email correspondence with Alex has made my day! You two are the cutest. With love from Australia. xo (I’m not playing it cool – I’m giving you an ‘xo’ straight up!)

  46. Kate says...

    Well this is just the cutest best thing ever!

  47. Ashley says...

    happy anniversary! I love this so much! it makes me giggle! xoxoxoxo

    I met my husband at my best friend’s birthday party — he is her brother. She tried to set us up because we have so much in common, because, you know, “you both like nature, and are on facebook.” We were shy with the attention we were receiving and instead he and I coyly ignored each other the whole night.

    “I can’t date your brotherrrrrr!” I remember squealing to her on the phone later. But she reassured me that no, he was just a loner with no friends. She also implied he had a disability and that I should help him out by being his friend. (Note: all of this is false.)

    Later I messaged him, “when can I see you again?” (!)
    “Sunday,” he replied.
    Yada, yada, we’ve been married three years this August.

    • Angela says...

      So sweet!!

  48. Katie says...

    Swoon! Thank you for sharing this! It made my day and made me want to look back with my husband at our early communication.

  49. Rachel says...

    Wow, you guys are so cute. Reading this took me right back to when my husband and I were first dating, and it gave me butterflies.

  50. Erin says...

    Aaaaand now we know how long it takes Alex to write a response to an email that he thinks is as good as being offered a billion dollars — exactly one hour and nineteen minutes! :)

    This exchange is so cute, and the annotations are hilarious, especially “I already picked out my outfit but no pressure!” Thanks for sharing, Joanna.

  51. Heather says...

    YOU TWO ARE SO CUTE! Happy 11th Anniversary Joanna and Alex. “Ask for what you want” is such great life-advice in general – thank you for the reminder. Hope you two had a sweet weekend celebrating. <3

  52. Kim says...

    I love love!!!

  53. Alison says...

    I love looking at the time stamp – you had to have been dying for an hour, but at least he gave you a quick response!! I love reading the old emails between my husband and myself as well… we have a long-running email chain titled “Fong’s Pizza” (after a restaurant in Des Moines I told him to stop at) that we still respond to each other with… five years later :)

    • Nicole says...

      I FEEL the butterflies and giddiness reading these emails. Please frame this annotated version. So beautiful and sweet :)

    • Agnès says...

      oh <3 adorable.

    • cilla says...

      wow, this is so cool

    • Brianna Glenn says...

      <3 Fong's! Des Moines readers represent! :) Love that you've used the same email chain for 5 years!

  54. Ava says...

    As someone who still has the Glamour post of how you met Alex bookmarked, I’m excited to now have the sequel!

  55. what a sweet read! happy anniversary :)

  56. MK says...

    Love this! I reached out to my now husband via MySpace in 2006, and totally remember re-doing my page before I sent the message — couldn’t have the wrong profile photo! I was telling a younger cousin the story and at the end the only thing she said was “What’s MySpace?”

    • HH says...

      hahaha! MK, this might be my favorite reply of the entire comments section. Just perfect.

  57. Elizabeth says...

    1) this is adorable
    2) the annotations are also very helpful insights for current singles!
    3) can alex participate in the dating advice column sometime ?!

    • V says...

      I second the “can Alex participate in the dating advice column sometime?” !!

    • Britt says...

      I second the request for advice from Alex!

  58. Jeannie says...

    This is soooo sweet! I love another reader’s suggestion to frame it :)

    I created an entire BOOK of text messages my (now) husband and I sent throughout the first year we were together. We met in 2011, but in 2013 I was getting a new phone and was so sad to lose all those messages so I screen shot them… a year later I turned them into the sweetest coffee table book. I hope our daughter loves reading them someday <3

    • Jasna says...

      This is so sweet, Jeannie!

  59. Meredith says...

    This is so adorable and it’s awesome that you shared it! I feel like I know you from being a long time reader. A Cup of Jo is the last blog I still read.

  60. Michelle says...

    Weeping. Love this so much.

  61. Stefanie says...

    Oh my gosh, Alex’s response made my heart melt.

    “It was like getting an email out of the blue saying, “Hi, would you like a billion dollars?””

    SIGH. The best feeling ever. Congratulations you two!

  62. Rochelle says...

    Loved reading this, thanks for sharing. I can’t believe I’ve been following CoJ since before you two were married. Happy anniversary!

  63. Jane I. says...

    This is the perfect meet-cute for two writers. Happy Anniversary!

  64. Karen says...

    I love this! Thanks for sharing =) Modern love letters.

  65. jackie says...

    Swoon. I love this so much.

  66. .S. says...

    I love this so much!!

    Also “I was the one who ate all the guac and then left early” captures me at parties in my 20s so well that I laughed out loud

    • CS says...

      … And I also loved Alex’s response… She ate half and he ate the other half. Oh my gosh, so sweet! Lol!

  67. Katherine says...

    I’m laughing at my last comment where I mentioned couples (Including my husband and I) getting together in 2017…I’ve obviously lost 10 years somewhere I meant 2007! Time flies!!

  68. H says...

    As a long time reader this was so sweet to read-happy anniversary!

    This is also quite timely, in that last week I sent someone I had met a year ago (and hadn’t seen or spoken to since) a message on instagram- playing it cool but with the intentions of it being date-like. We re-connected over a 5 hour meet up (!!), established I was interested in it as a date, and are meeting for round 2/real date #1 this week! Even if it doesn’t progress, I’m impressed with my ballsy-ness to make it happen. Cheers to going after what you want!

    • sunnysusan says...

      Best of luck, H, hurrah already for ballsy-ness <3

  69. Ar says...

    I thought my husband was super cute (he was a senior, I was a freshman at the same college). We would always drunkenly find each other and dance at parties but had never actually spoken. One night, annoyed by an ex who just didn’t care, I finally worked up the nerve to tell my hubby that I found him attractive (okay, I had a friend go over and tell him). We went from strangers to FWB to married last August. I also asked my boss for my bonus today and it went way better than I had imagined. So, yes, ask for you want ladies! And advocate for yourselves in love, career… life.

  70. Lisa says...

    Probably the only thing that can compete with “love” is the budding romance… the whole picking a daisy’s petals, “he likes me, he doesn’t, he likes me …” Such an exciting point in the journey, and SO sweet to look back on. Thank you guys for sharing this, so cute

  71. ADORABLE. Happy Anniversary!!!
    When my husband and I met in a fiction writing class in college, I had a huge crush on him but was way too shy to ever talk to him. After our last class was over, I sent him an oh-so-casual message on Friendster (remember Friendster??) about how he came up as a friend suggestion (untrue, I straight up stalked him.) I’m sure I agonized over the message for hours to make sure I didn’t sound too excited!!

  72. Karin says...

    Love this! And OMG sending an EMAIL sounds so old-fashioned compared to now. . . I’m old but I feel like it would have been a 4 word text or something, which would be a waste of both of your obvious way with words. So cute!

  73. Mariam says...

    Loved this so much! Happy anniversary!

  74. Mallory says...

    I love this, especially the annotation! After our first date, my now husband texted me to tell me I left my “ochre colored jacket” in his car. I had to google the word ochre, which was a total turn on and definitely secured a next date ;)

  75. Charlotte K says...

    Awwww love it. Glad you both kept them.

  76. Kristiana says...

    I loved reading this and the annotation was incredible 😂

  77. Sarah says...

    This is the best. Thank you for sharing!

  78. Emily Berendes says...

    MY HEART!

  79. Elizabeth Smith says...

    This is the cutest thing I’ve read in a long time. Honestly so fun to read💙also, I love your reminder to go for what you want!! What a good word. I’ve read your blog since 2007!

  80. Emily says...

    I have been reading CoJ for years and this is my very favorite post. How sweet and hopeful *sob*

  81. Midge says...

    THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER.

  82. Jenna says...

    So sweet! My husband got a hold of me over email to ask me out too and I remember just floating after receiving it! I don’t think we saved it though, sadly! We had met and hung out at my cousin’s wedding and it was weirdly love at first sight.

  83. This is such a sweet story. Lately, all my friends have meet their partners online, on dating apps. It’s so nice to hear about a meet-up in person and your frisson over the guacemole. The think I miss most during quarantine is parties and encounters with new people. The only time I have a conversation with someone new in real life is at the grocery. Hoping for a star-crossed moment one of these days as a late 20s singleton. I wander if rom com movies are going to start slow moing the moment when two people take their masks off in front of each other, that moment when they let their guards down!

  84. This is SO cute!!! You should frame it! <3 I babysat for a couple who were high school sweethearts who reunited later in their 20s, and they framed one of the notes he passed her in class from back in the day. I read it and died!!!! It was so precious.

  85. Jill says...

    Well.
    Your Meet Cute is simply so sweet AND sexy, I think. Really is.
    Thanks for sharing and happy anniversary!

    • Blair says...

      I love this so much! It reminds me of when my sister got married a few years ago. She and her husband met on OKCupid and they read their annotated initial messages at their wedding! I love hearing (and reading) about those initial butterflies fluttering underneath the “nonchalant” facade.

  86. Marisa V. says...

    This is so cute and prompted me to go back through my original emails with my now husband. So fun to see how our relationship evolved <3

  87. Anne says...

    This is so sweet. Inspired me to go back and read the first few messages exchanged with my husband on Facebook. It strikes me reading it back now how casual I sound when inside I was a mess of anticipation and nerves. For example, I gave him my phone number in the chat almost as a p.s., when in reality I probably agonized over the wording of that sentence several times over. haha. We also happened to meet a week before he was defending his dissertation, so I really appreciated his honesty about entering an unresponsive writing hole for a week but with a promise that at the end of it we’d celebrate together. And we did! And 7 years later here we are :)

    Such a lovely feeling. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Brita says...

      My husband was supposed to be a very quick rebound from my college boyfriend, and I specifically chose him because he seemed so average! After our first date though, I scribbled 10-2-07 on a post-it and stuck it to my fridge… juuuuuusssst in case, so I wouldn’t forget our “official” beginning. I ended up giving it to him in a scrapbook for our first anniversary and almost thirteen years later? Uh, we lost it. Could have been cute though! Haha!

  88. Hope says...

    This is the cutest thing I’ve ever read in my life.

  89. Allison says...

    Love this so much!! My first message to my now-husband was so transparent, to the effect of: hey, thanks for coming to my game night, do you want the bags of skittles and m&ms you brought that we didn’t eat?
    Haha, best I could come up with, but it worked to keep the conversation going while I went out of town that week! A week and a half after the game night we hung out for 4th of July, and that was that :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love that, Allison! whatever works ;)

    • And please tell me you ate the sweets while watching the fireworks?

  90. Emma says...

    This is SO cute! It makes me remember the thrill of a new crush and all the possibilities it holds.

  91. Sarah says...

    I have tears in my eyes from this! So, so sweet.

  92. Rachel says...

    Oh my goodness, I can feel the butterflies vicariously! I miss flirty testing-the-waters emails. I still think they were the perfect medium for this sort of thing–more verbose than texts, but quicker than letters.

  93. Hali says...

    This is INCREDIBLE. As if I didn’t already want to be your irl friend. So cool. So casual. So forward! But not too forward! A press dinner… of course! Congratulations to NY’s coolest parents!!

    This is far more cool and collected than the Blackberry PMs that pinged back and fourth between my husband and me when we were 17 year olds with nearly identical senior class schedules. Ooh how I cringe at the thought of it discovering them.

  94. AJ says...

    :)
    Oh I love this

    • Katherine says...

      I loved this. My husband and I got together a couple of weeks after you and Alex, going by the dates on your emails. Funny to think of the parallels between our lives and the lives of others! All those couples who met in early 2017 who are now married with kids! I also have two boys of similar ages to yours 😊

  95. This might be my favorite Cup of Jo post ever, and that is a very high bar. I love how you were emailing an Times journalist and still refused to use proper capitalization. The guts on you!

    • Kristen says...

      And that Alex’s response to an all lowercase email included a colon! Amazing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      @kristen hahahaha

    • Danielle says...

      haha, this made me lol.

    • Madeline says...

      HA! I had the same thought! Also, you and and Alex are both excellent writers, but the way he pulls out odious (with the alliteration no less!)… you can tell he’s already all in.

    • Anna says...

      This is so wonderful and really made me laugh! Thank you Joanna and Alex for sharing! :-)

  96. Jena says...

    This is so cute! And the ONLY reason I still have Coffee Meets Bagel on my phone.. so I can go back and swoon over those 4 images of him and read those first few messages where I knew he was something special. Love this.

  97. Jess says...

    “It was like getting an email out of the blue saying, “Hi, would like a billion dollars?”- oh my goodness this is sweet.

    Last year I briefly met a really cute guy at a music festival, and a couple days later worked up the nerve to find and message him on Instagram! Of course the next day I immediately over-thought this move as creepy, especially when we had mutual friends who could give me his actual number. So I “unsent” the message!!! To my horror, he responded to my now non-existent message the next day, and god bless him for acting like I hadn’t unsent it. I copped to unsending the message and we were able to laugh about it, and have had a fun lil thing for awhile! Moral of the story: don’t overthink it!!!

  98. liz says...

    so cute!! not sure why, but I was pretty surprised to see Joanna to go 100% lowercase in hers! such a laid back, cool style for a pseudo-work-date invite email!

    • K says...

      me too!

  99. Andrea says...

    My husband and I have thousands of emails saved between the two of us from 2005 on. We decided recently to start a podcast wherein we read them aloud to each other. Laughing and cringing has been a fun way to bond! The podcast has taken a backseat to quarantine life with 3 kids but this just made me smile and renewed my energy to start recording again….however embarrassing it may be! Thanks for sharing!

    • Sara says...

      Hi Andrea,
      Would you share the name of your podcast? Sounds like a fun listen!

    • Sarah says...

      I’d love to listen to this too!

  100. nat says...

    This is the sweetest post ever, I am definitely tearing up! I need more Alex and Joanna couple content!! always!!

  101. Manjiri Paprikar says...

    such a cute little story!

    • Dee says...

      You guys!

  102. Michelle says...

    I looove this! I work in a grocery store and there was a customer I’d see every week and just thought he was so handsome! We eventually started chatting while he was shopping and I signed up for tinder just to see if I’d come across him (I live in a small town and guestimated his age range). I was on for an hour and ran out of matches and never saw him. The next day he came into the store and said he said me on tinder. Then he asked me out and said he had been wanting to ask me out for months! That was in July and he is my boyfriend now!

    • liz says...

      love this too!

  103. Emily says...

    The annotations made me smile! Makes me want to go back and do the same with our early (so cringey and so sweet) Facebook messages.

  104. Caroline Taylor says...

    Look at the time between emails! I love it, reminds me of when my now partner and I were starting dating and I’d get a text and then wait to respond…. “I’m interested but not too available!” :)

  105. Kim says...

    You two are so sweet! You inspired me to pull up our first messages, except they were on the less-classy Tinder app. I’m so happy to have taken screenshots of his profile to save for posterity, lol. I can’t wait until our kids scrutinize every aspect of the messages for fun.

  106. Alexandra says...

    My husband and I met in law school and our entire relationship – from the follow up to our initial meeting at a happy hour, to the date that I didn’t think was a date, to the year and a half where we dated other people, to the secret dating that no one knew about, to the official dating – is documented in hundreds of Gchats. We went back and re-read them once (mostly so he could prove that we were clearly on a date) and it was hilarious and cringey and so, so clear that we had a thing for each other from the get-go. Thank you, Google, for never deleting anything. :-)

  107. Oh I love this so much. And also, these emails were exchanged ten days after I hooked up with my now-husband for the first time. It was late at night, after a college party, lots of drinks, totally intended to be a one night stand… but five minutes after he left, I saw that I had a text waiting for me on my (Motorola flip) phone: “sweet dreams”

    I swear, a part of me knew then.

    • Jo says...

      That text!! This gave me the chills..

    • Evel says...

      How cute and romantic! Thank you for sharing! Wishing you both many more happy anniversaries!

  108. Erica says...

    Omg this is totally charming! It inspired me to look up the first email I got from my now husband– it radiates nervous enthusiasm that I shared! :)

    “hey there. This is Sam — from the party on Saturday. I hope it hasn’t creeped you out that, stalker-like (but of course not at all
    like stalker-like!), I found your email. Perhaps it wouldn’t have creeped you out had I not called attention to it … anyways, the damage is done, and what can I do? At any rate, if you were interested in getting a drink or coffee or somesuchthing sometime this week, this email serves the
    purpose of broaching the subject. If you were *not* interested in something along those lines (which would be okay!), this email at least serves the purpose of informing a highly placed xx staffer that she should be checking out xx’s web site, for sound liberal views on events of the day. Thus do I cover my bases, or kill two birds with one stone, or something like that. It’s probably best I end this email right about now.”

    • Mallory says...

      omg this is the cutest! love his closing line.

    • Heather says...

      This is adorable!!! Goodness!

  109. Eve says...

    This is so cute! My husband and I met online and I SO wish I had thought to save our first messages to each other before we deleted the app! I bet they were hilarious!

  110. Deanna says...

    I love the annotations. I asked out the cute guy in my poetry class in college via Facebook after trying (and failing) to work up the nerve to ask him out in-person. He just seemed really kind and funny—and did I mention cute? We dated for four months, broke up, and reunited 8 years later when I needed a last-minute wedding date.

    Anyway, we’re engaged now, and I love thinking of that first awkward Facebook message.

  111. JANE says...

    This is so charming!! And how fun for you to have to look back on. “Is This You, Alex?” sounds like the name of a (good) book :)

    • NH observer says...

      Totally!! Are you there, Alex — it’s me, Joanna. Lovely!

    • Jeannie says...

      hahaha – love the book title!

  112. This was such a treat! Love the annotations, and I thought Alex seemed quite interested! But I can understand how cloudy things can seem at that first interaction. Thank you for sharing, and happy anniversary you two!

  113. Maire says...

    I love this so much! The annotations crack me up! Congrats to a wonderful couple on your Anniversary. I can’t believe I’ve been reading so long that I remember posts about your wedding.

  114. Michelle says...

    This post made me so happy! What a gift to have those emails and how amusing to look at them after 11 years of marriage and remember how it felt. Thank you for sharing with us!

    I wish I had a copy of the voicemail my husband left on my family’s answering machine when he asked me out in 2005. He said “um” about 11 times and said he was “calling to see if I wanted to hook up”. My mom and I nearly died laughing. He thought “hook up” meant meet-each-other-in-a-non-sexual way. It was so charming and sweet. We listened to the message over and over. Little did he know I already loved him!

  115. Loesie says...

    So it’s guac and wine for dinner now every year on your anniversary? 🥑 🍷💚

  116. Tracy says...

    My husband and I were both teachers when we started dating and we would email each other throughout the workday until our students caught on because we would both smile when we got an email from the other (both of our classes called us out on it). I printed all of the emails when we left our school district (and email addresses) and still have them in a folder to reread some day. Maybe on our 10th anniversary this December!

    • Ro says...

      Aw, you just reminded me of one of my teachers in high school. I was in 10th grade and she seemed a million years older, but in reality was probably about 28. Anyway, I remember her turning BEET red when one of the history teachers came in her room. They made awkward, giggly conversation and even my completely dorky, inexperience teenage brain could see they were in love. Turns out they started dating soon after, and are now married!

  117. Ariane says...

    Love it !!! This is so sweet!!! So romantic and so real at the same time!💞

  118. El says...

    Joanna’s all lower case email vibe is SO COOL, ugh I love this.

    • Emma says...

      Hahaha, I thought the same thing!

  119. e says...

    Aww. xoxo

  120. Erin says...

    I just love this so much. Smiled the entire time I was reading it.

  121. Rachel says...

    Love anniversaries and LOVE you guys & keeping up with your story for all these years. I actually teared up reading Alex’s perspective: “Hi, would you like a billion dollars?” 😭 How lucky you are to feel this after so much life together. Best wishes & congratulations, Jo & Alex!

  122. Jenny says...

    This is sooo cute!!

  123. Mimi says...

    This was very sweet to read. Thanks for the smile!

  124. Adélaïde says...

    I absolutely love it! Thank you for sharing!!! I’ll remember for a long time, like lots of your posts Joanna. I love Alex’s answer, so gentleman, subtle and smart. His answer leaves no doubt at all to the fact that he likes you, which is brave and just adorable. You two were made for each other. (Sorry for my English, I am French ;-)

  125. annie says...

    Reading this take from Alex made me tear up, it’s so sweet: It was like getting an email out of the blue saying, “Hi, would like a billion dollars?”

    • Sherri says...

      Happy Anniversary!!! Oh, what fun to read your annotations!

    • Kara says...

      Ditto!!

  126. Audrey says...

    “It was like getting an email out of the blue saying, ‘Hi, would like a billion dollars?’” 😭😭😭😭 just the sweetest! Congrats!

  127. Gemma says...

    This is SO adorable. I love you guys. Now, can we talk about your supercool offhand all lower-case typing, JoGo?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      trying so hard to be casual!

    • El says...

      I loved that, too!

    • Yes yes! That got me too! Commitment to the lowercase vibe — love it!

  128. Simone B. says...

    This put the biggest smile on my face. It’s like watching a romantic movie and being secure in knowing they’ll absolutely end up together <3

  129. Katie Anderson says...

    Oh my goodness! How fun that y’all have these, they brought me so much joy!

  130. Abby says...

    Reading these emails was truly delightful (I could almost feel butterflies in my own stomach!). Thank you for sharing them!

  131. Elizabeth says...

    I was at a party many moons ago and kept exchanging glances with a handsome dude. I went inside the house for a bit, and when I came back out, he was walking down the driveway to leave with his friends. I ran toward the driveway after him and told him he was the cutest one at the party and that I just wanted him to know. He said he felt the same about me and could he have my number? I had nothing to write with and told him he’d have to just remember it. Well, he did! We went out a few times, and it was fun but didn’t last. But I’m proud of my ballsy move to this day!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      wow that’s SO cute!! out of a movie!

  132. Johnny’s first email to me had the subject line “yo.” Can you believe I went out with him???
    (married !0 years this Nov.)

    • b says...

      hahaha

  133. Britt says...

    This is adorable and what I hope to find someday <3. Love the meet cutes before the age of dating apps.

  134. Vanessa says...

    This is such a fun post… I am constantly re-reading emails (work and private) or playing my own voice messages back to myself just to make sure I got the tone right. It’s a stupid habit really, but I guess I just can’t let go!

  135. Carrington says...

    I’m dead. Always down to drunk and overeat 😂

  136. Kay says...

    Cutest! Love this!

  137. rebecca choi says...

    this is the sweetest. happy anni, you two!

  138. Megan Kongaika says...

    Well that was adorable to read.

  139. Claire says...

    As a *super* long-time reader (I remember getting so excited when you two got engaged), I’ve always wondered what this email looked like! I’m struck by how casual the exchange was… did you end up going to a movie, too? I’m Congratulations on your anniversary and thanks for sharing this super sweet post!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      aww, you are so sweet! we went to this press dinner as “friends” — and then went on an official date to a dinner and a movie the following Friday (with a first kiss!).

  140. Sarah says...

    OMG! This was so sweet and fun to read. What a Tuesday treat!!! I loved the annotations!

  141. Meredith says...

    But did you go together to the dinner and get drunk/over eat??? (I mean, we all know the ultimate ending! Swoon!)
    My husband and I did most of our initial flirting via Google Hangouts circa 2007 and you bet I still have them in my archives!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! it was such a fun dinner. we sat together and chatted all night. I still wasn’t 100% sure if he liked me romantically (he’s more reserved than flirty) but thankfully he asked me out on an official date the next day!

  142. AG says...

    Absolutely adorable! I once emailed a dude I met at a young professionals dodgeball game after sensing a mutual attraction. I forgot I used a junk email to sign up for the group so after I emailed him from my real address, he immediately responded with a copy paste of the email he had sent to ME, just hours before, to my junk address. I might not have seen it if I didn’t also email. Dude and I didn’t get married but we had some fun together. And it definitely gave me more confidence in future endeavors. Ask for what you want indeed!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love this, AG!!!

  143. Mrudula says...

    Love this! It is heartwarming to see your love for each other. <3

  144. Naomi says...

    So, did you go to the dinner?!

  145. Ming Ong says...

    DID YOU GUYS END UP GOING TO THAT DINNER THING TOGETHER??? WHY ISNT THERE A COMMENT ON THAT???

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha YES!!! will add that into the post.

  146. Amy Stringer-Mowat says...

    hands down adorable!

  147. Ann says...

    I hope you have this framed! What a priceless correspondence!

  148. Ashley McCuen says...

    I can’t believe how much this makes me smile. Total swoon city. Thanks for including us in these little moments of your life. It means so much!

    p.s. who’s got the screenplay rights? ;)

  149. cilla says...

    what a cool post! xo

  150. Natalie Kenley says...

    Ahh! So sweet- congratulations to you both! XO

    • JANE says...

      This is so charming!! And how fun for you to have to look back on. “Is This You, Alex?” sounds like the name of a (good) book :)